Jump to content
Peter T Chattaway

The Wolf of Wall Street

Recommended Posts

I couple of those scenes it looks like Leo is giving us a glimpse of what it would have been if he had actually made AMERICAN PSYCHO all those years ago. I'm in (though, as this is Marty, I was in before the cameras were rolling...is he shooting this on celluloid?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This may be delayed:
 

With the current cut of The Wolf of Wall Street standing at over 3 hours, and destined for a rumored NC-17 rating, Scorsese and his longtime editor Thelma Schoonmaker are working to figure out how to trim it-- but, again, they get to call the shots, and it's unclear if the film will even be ready in time for Christmas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Roger Friedman: "'Wolf' is said to be the sex equivalent of the violence from 'GoodFellas.' There are said to be orgies on planes, in living rooms, just about everywhere. The only person who isn’t naked is Matthew McConnaughey, who I’m told does give a sublime performance in one scene–just as I thought from the original trailer."

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I heard once that Scorsese had refused to cut it any more after 180 minutes, but now I see it's billed as 165 and I'm not sure whether I heard incorrectly, if Scorsese relented, or if the studio brought the hammer down. I'm kind of a sucker for Marty - he may be the last (living) link to mainstream movies that I haven't cut due to disillusionment or just growing out. I'll be up for seeing Wolf of Wall Street, but I'm still wondering if, providing I heard correctly about a 180-minute cut, the extra bits will be someday made available. 

I know cutting can strengthen a film, but I'll never take that for granted after knowing about the horrible Brazil edit, the abomination that was the 139-minute American theatrical cut of Once Upon A Time In America, and worst of all, the forever marred Magnificent Ambersons. For me, those were all to varying degrees "I don't want to live on this planet anymore" moments.

As for Matthew McConaughey, the only film I've ever liked him in is Dazed and Confused, but I'll give him a chance with this. It could be much, much worse, after all.

Edited by Kinch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm seeing reports that it's actually 179 minutes, but that some scenes did have to be cut in order to avoid the NC-17 rating.

 

Alright. I saw 165 on IMDb last time I checked, but I'm inclined to believe that report - and would like to. That would make it almost to-the-minute equal in length to Casino.

And as for NC-17, I'm okay with those cuts because, even if Lars von Trier succeeds artistically with Nymphomaniac, Paul Verhoeven apparently brutally murdered the notion of anyone being able to take an NC-17 production seriously. It's why Y Tu Mama Tambien released as NR - nobody wants to try to vindicate "the other rating". Though to be fair, that would have screwed it over at the box office.

Edited by Kinch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is screening for my critics' group this afternoon, but I have kid duty while my wife is out of town and can't make it. So I won't be voting for it this weekend in any categories.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If this Deadline description is accurate, this film may cause Movieguide to explode.

I thought the trailer suggested that the film would be critical of capitalism, especially laissez faire capitalism, which would already make Movieguide explode.  However, I do wonder whether the sexual content or the probable anti-capitalism will be more "abhorrent."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is spectacularly sordid. An eye-scorchingly, ear-piercingly assaultive bacchanal. Occasionally funny (especially the early scenes with McConaughey, who disappears too soon), it's also a strong candidate for Scorsese's most trifling, disposable, redundant movie, notable mainly for its extreme duration (179 minutes). Every cliche in the cinematic lexicon is recycled. No opportunity for debauchery is overlooked.

 

For me, it will be more fun to read the reviews--especially the polarizing ones--than to contemplate the film any further. Marty has certainly "done it again"--although never with this much demented glee and never with such a desperate desire to prove his own virtuosity. 

Edited by Nathaniel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hadn't really thought about it until you asked, but I reckon the '00s has been my least favorite decade for Scorsese pictures. He seems to have contracted a bad case of "art" somewhere in the mid '90s, resulting in a spate of overblown Oscar bait. Granted, each one of his films has so much going for it (acting, production value, etc.) and no one can say that he hasn't totally taken command of his craft, even if his movies now tend to play like sizzle reels for his next gig. His latest work (say, from Gangs onward) has been no more than lightly diverting. The most enjoyable among them, Hugo, gains much of its stilted charm from the period setting alone. But Wolf is a different beast. It's as if the floodgates of several years' worth of pent-up anger and aggression suddenly opened wide. Marty bagged his Oscar; no need to play "nice" anymore. No doubt there are many who will find this very aspect appealing. And there is something refreshing about the willingness to test new waters in the area of slapstick humor. But this film wore me down very quickly, and the obsession with amorality which has always fascinated this filmmaker has finally breached the pathological.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hadn't really thought about it until you asked, but I reckon the '00s has been my least favorite decade for Scorsese pictures. He seems to have contracted a bad case of "art" somewhere in the mid '90s, resulting in a spate of overblown Oscar bait. Granted, each one of his films has so much going for it (acting, production value, etc.) and no one can say that he hasn't totally taken command of his craft, even if his movies now tend to play like sizzle reels for his next gig. His latest work (say, from Gangs onward) has been no more than lightly diverting. The most enjoyable among them, Hugo, gains much of its stilted charm from the period setting alone. But Wolf is a different beast. It's as if the floodgates of several years' worth of pent-up anger and aggression suddenly opened wide. Marty bagged his Oscar; no need to play "nice" anymore. No doubt there are many who will find this very aspect appealing. And there is something refreshing about the willingness to test new waters in the area of slapstick humor. But this film wore me down very quickly, and the obsession with amorality which has always fascinated this filmmaker has finally breached the pathological.

You and I are on similar pages regarding Scorsese's career trajectory in the '90s and '00s (of his work from Gangs onward, I find Gangs to be the most alluring; for all its madness, Gangs provides a far greater glimpse of Scorsese-the-master than one gets in any of his subsequent films).

Your comments have made me afraid of The Wolf of Wall Street. Not because I might be appalled by its ugliness, but because I might actually enjoy it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your comments have made me afraid of The Wolf of Wall Street. Not because I might be appalled by its ugliness, but because I might actually enjoy it.

 

The lupine esprit in all of us will enjoy it. The film itself isn't sick, twisted, corrupt; we are.

Edited by Nathaniel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Letterboxd review
 

For the first 30 minutes of The Wolf of Wall Street, I was seriously considering that it might be one of the top three films of 2013. Scorsese's opening visual (which I will not describe - you *have* to see it) is remarkable for its absurd hilarity and apt summary of Jordan Belfort's (Di Caprio) lifestyle and role as President of Stratton Oakmont.

In his ten or so minutes of screen time, Matthew McConaughey completely steals the film as an experienced broker who gives some "essential" advice (do cocaine and masturbate) to a young Belfort over lunch. I wished Scorsese and writer Terence Winter could have come up with some excuse to bring him back later in the film, even if that would have been completely fictitious; the historical source material is dramatized and elaborated upon anyway.

Unfortunately, I do not think that the film justifies its three-hour run time at all. After one hour and forty-five minutes, it becomes painfully obvious that Scorsese is excessively repeating himself: Belfort is a sick, depraved, hedonist who lives a life of dangerous excess. It becomes boring and slightly ironic to hammer that point home for two hours before progressing to the expected but still exciting reckoning. To be fair, many of the examples of Belfort's excess are imaginative and darkly amusing. But after a certain point, I wanted to see something new, something that Scorsese had not already told the audience twelve or fifteen times.

If another thirty to forty minutes had been cut from the film, I imagine I would be praising it immensely. The narrative would be less bloated, and the scathing satire of Wall Street excess would have had a much stronger bite. The rest of the craftsmanship is, for the most part, impressive. Scorsese's camera work and blocking is superb as usual. Di Caprio is very good as the greedy Belfort who is unable to control any of his appetites, although I did prefer him in both Django and Gatsby. Jonah Hill is appropriately obnoxious as Belfort's not-that-bright assistant who wants to get rich quick. Jean Dujardin is excellent as a Swiss banker to whom Belfort turns to keep his money away from the FBI.

While Di Caprio's voiceovers work perfectly, there is one scene where he breaks the fourth wall in the midst of his employees that seemed out of place, because those lines could easily have been spoken via voiceover, and that scene was the only time he directly addressed the audience in the midst of the story.

The other reason that the run time is such a serious flaw for me is that by the time Di Caprio makes his big anger motivational speech on how to sell stock, I had started to check out of the film. As a result, the first thing that crossed my mind was, "Didn't Alec Baldwin deliver this speech so much better in Glengarry Glen Ross?" Followed by, "Heck, didn't David Mamet write this speech (as well as a good portion of this film) so much better with Glengarry Glen Ross?"

Edited by Evan C

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Given all they apparently had to work with, the Movie Guide content run-down just feels lazy. It even repeats one of the offenses practically word-for-word.

They don't even get the part they repeated right.  It's a woman, not a man, who walks in on that scene.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been waiting for Richard Brody's rave review to come in. It's here, and it meets all expectations:

 

Anyone who needs “The Wolf of Wall Street” to explain that the stock-market fraud and personal irresponsibility it depicts are morally wrong is dead from the neck up; but anyone who can’t take vast pleasure in its depiction of delinquent behavior is dead from the neck down.

 

Lots of faulty assumptions in this piece. His eloquence will make voicing an opposing view a fun challenge!

Edited by Nathaniel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wild movie. I've read several complaints about the length of this film, but I could've started watching it again the second it ended. There are so many outstanding scenes and sequences in this film, so many great performances. I think it coheres, but I could be wrong. It's too much to take in on one viewing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scorsese has finally woken from the coma he's been in for the past decade. The Wolf of Wall Street is an astoundingly vital film, one that almost seamlessly extends from Goodfellas and Casino. Which is to say, there's plenty of bravura stuff here (the quaaludes sequence is one for the ages), but, as with those other two films, the film so delights in the energy of its misdeeds that it rarely takes enough time to build up a sense of pathos or moral gravity.

Admittedly, that last shot is really something, and I wish I could read its indictment of the audience back into the whole film. But despite what Scorsese claims are darker touches throughout the film (a head-shaving that recalls the Holocaust, the recurrent shouts of "Wolfie," which was also Hitler's nickname), I'm uncertain that there's enough of it. We're never given any glimpse of Belfort's collateral damage, no depiction of the guy who risked $5,000 and ended up in serious financial difficulties. The film indulges its protagonist's hedonism so much that edges over into celebrating it. Which, I know, is part of the point: American culture celebrates this, too. But I do wish Scorsese were more interested in interrupting the celebration, in forcing us out of it to gain some perspective.

And, yes, the film is just a bit too long. It keeps momentum up until Belfort's comeuppance. The beats there (cutting a deal with the Feds, arguments with his wife, losing the house) are a bit tired, all standard features of the rise-and-fall narrative in its contemporary American context.

Edited by Ryan H.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At The New Yorker, Rachel Syme writes:

 

 

A man of humble upbringing decides that he will become a millionaire. For several years, wealth is his only goal, because he desperately wants everything else that comes from being rich. He reinvents himself along the way, transcending his roots, presenting a phony, tony name as his public face to the world. He does not come about his millions entirely legally, and he will one day have to answer for his crimes. But in the high times, he buys a mansion on the Gold Coast of Long Island, where he fills glamorous parties with beautiful women and the men that lust after them. In the film version of his life, he is played by a very tan Leonardo DiCaprio in boat shoes. Pop quiz: “The Wolf of Wall Street” or “The Great Gatsby”?

 

Even if both films did not open in the same year, starring the same actor, set in the same context of gaudy maximalism, they would still be having an intense conversation with one another (over a Martini and a bloody steak). Both are entries in the great epic of American capitalism, stories of high-flying greed and the power of self-delusion, morality plays about deeply unhappy Trimalchios who drown their insecurities in money and false hopes. But the coincidence (or, rather, brilliant alchemy) of DiCaprio’s appearance in both films just heightens the similarities between the stories, bringing everything into sharp relief.

...

Luhrmann’s film may be the “Gatsby” that this generation deserves (Technicolor, attention-disordered, deafeningly loud, brimming with loose cultural pastiche), but Scorsese’s “Wolf” is the “Gatsby” that the current Wall Street demands—its dark cousin and perverse reflection. There is no deeper romance to “Wolf,” only craven desire. The film has a black heart where a green light should be.

 

 

She gets major points for being the first I've seen to dub this film Citizen Cocaine.

Edited by Overstreet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...